EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Merrimack Valley

September 21, 2013

Woman describes early morning attack by alleged 'red car' rapist

METHUEN - She was living on the third floor of a South Union Street boarding house in Lawrence on May 23, 2010. In the early morning, she said she went out to have a cigarette on the sidewalk were a man pulled up and asked her for directions. When she walked over to the car, the man ­— later identified as Kenneth Poirier ­— pointed a gun at her and told her to get in, she said.

“I was scared I was going to be dead; that he was going to shoot me right away,” said the woman, 42, breaking into tears on the witness stand in Lawrence Superior Court yesterday.

Poirier, 41, who previously lived in Merrimac and Pelham, N.H., is on trial for two counts of aggravated rape against the woman. Her name with being withheld by the Eagle-Tribune because she is the victim of an alleged rape. Poirier is accused of trapping the woman in the red Pontiac Grand Am he was driving and raping her. His defense, however, is that the sex was consensual.

The woman was supposed to report to court on Thursday but did not show up. Under questioning by Poirier’s defense attorney yesterday, the woman said she knew she was supposed to be in court but had a tooth ache and infection. Lawrence police located the woman on Thursday night and she was put up in a hotel, given food and some clothing prior to her court appearance yesterday, she said.

Questioned by prosecutor Kate MacDougall, the woman said she was forced at gunpoint to get into Poirier’s car, was driven to Methuen and told “to do stuff to him,” she said. The woman said Poirier drove her to a wooded area off Old Ferry Road in Methuen where he raped her twice.

“He starts getting rough and demanding, hurting me. I said, ‘I’ll do anything. Just keep calm,’ ” she said. MacDougall at one point asked her if she “had sex” with Poirier.

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